“Hail Minnesota” was adopted as the Minnesota state song in 1945. (Laws of Minnesota 1945, Joint Resolution 15.)
Written in 1904, “Hail Minnesota” was a song in a University of Minnesota play, “The Apple of Discord.” “Hail Minnesota” was used as the alma mater for the University of Minnesota and later adapted for use as the official Minnesota state song. One change was made to the words. The second line of the song, "Hail to thee, our college dear" became "Hail to thee, our state so dear." The chief authors were Rep. Ben D. Hughes and Sen. Val Imm.
Minnesota, hail to thee!
Hail to thee, our state so dear,
Thy light shall ever be
A beacon bright and clear.
Thy son and daughters true
Will proclaim thee near and far,
They shall guard thy fame and adore thy name;
Thou shalt be their Northern Star.
Like the stream that bends to sea,
Like the pine that seeks the blue;
Minnesota, still for thee
Thy sons are strong and true.
From the woods and waters fair;
From the prairies waving far,
At thy call they throng with their shout and song;
Hailing thee their Northern Star.
The music and original stanzas were written and revised by two students at the University of Minnesota in 1904 and 1905. The song, "Hail! Minnesota" first verse and music by Truman Rickard and second verse by Arthur Upson was adopted by the Minnesota Legislature as the official song of Minnesota on April 19, 1945 by Joint Resolution.
The official University of Minnesota song was adopted as the state song in 1945.
MINNESOTA State Song: "Hail! Minnesota"; adopted 1945.
Statutory citation: Not coded in statutes.
1945 Minn. Laws Jt. Resolution No. 15 (HF671)
Music and first verse by Truman E. Rickard (1904); second verse by Arthur E. Upson (1905). Altered slightly from the original (used as the University of Minnesota alma mater) when adopted as the state song.
In 1987 Sen. William Diessner and Rep. Leonard Price sponsored a bill that would have directed Lt. Gov. Marlene Johnson to conduct a contest to choose a new state song. It failed.
Clippings in the Library's files include some tangentially related material: "He's my G-O-V-E-R-N-O-R," a rap song composed by David Pattridge, choir director of Hastings Middle School, about Gov. Rudy Perpich; "Minnesota Melody" by Douglas Wood (1984), published by the Minnesota Division of Parks and Recreation Visitor Services; "Minnesota Real," the winner of a write-your-own-state-song contest sponsored by Metropolis (published 25 January 1977); and the University of Minnesota "Rouser" ("Minnesota, hats off to thee, ...").
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